Is there really a best-in laundry scent booster that offers a true 12 weeks of freshness? Whether you say you are using in-wash scent boosters, laundry fragrance beads, or in-wash crystals, most are really comparing brands like Downy Unstopables Downy Unstoppables is a wrong spelling but I’ll still share it), Purex Crystals, Gain Fireworks, and the like, you are seeking something to extend the fresh smell of your freshly cleaned laundry but do any of them really work?
I do so much laundry, on a daily basis, with 5 of us in the house, 2 in sports, etc. that I want the clothes to smell fresh as long as possible, so while I am not an expert, I do have enough loads of laundry under my mom belt, that I think I can talk about what my experiences are to help you!
So, I ended up seeking out laundry scent booster products and then I decided to share what I learned so I wrote this article!
Disclosure. My post contains affiliate links (shortcuts to the products I think you are going to love and use because I do!) If you buy one of these items, DanaVento.Com will make a tiny commission, but it doesn’t affect your price. Consider me, your concierge to find these things faster without a lot of searching!
Why You’ll Love This Article About Fragrance Boosters For Laundry
At some point, you have noticed there are many different ways to extend that fresh smell of your laundry on the retailer’s shelves.
The products are referred to as laundry scent boosters*, or laundry fragrance boosters* and there are a lot of them right?
- First, we are going to learn the difference as much as we can between them so you can buy what you are looking for!
- we’ll take a look at the different forms the boosters for laundry come in
- discuss why to use in laundry scent boosters
- Discuss why not to use in wash scent boosters
- and list where you can buy the laundry crystals and boosters
Did You Know That Fragrance Boosters For Laundry Come In Different Forms?
It is a true statement that those great-smelling laundry scent boosters come in different forms and here they are:
Each brand and its respective products offer their own advantages and disadvantages.
In my opinion, I found the most success between these 2 products in enhancing and maintaining the smell of fresh laundry.
However, opinions differ and there are a lot of products out there for that reason.
3 Reasons To Seek Out A Laundry Scent Booster (Crystals or Beads)
Let me start here, not every load of laundry you do needs a boost of Downy Unstopables or Gain Fireworks in it.
In fact, if you really read the fine print, the time to use fragrance boosters for laundry is really the time when you are storing a freshly laundered item for more than a week, not daily wear and use the stuff!
And that’s where you start to come into an expensive load of laundry because let’s face facts, these laundry fragrance boosters are not cheap!
- Sports equipment stinks, so I throw everything I have at it to make that funky smell go away!
- Blankets you use over and over (like on couches) deserve to have an extended clean fragrance
- Clothing I am packing away for a few months (shorts, or pants) for the new season
Again, those are just a few reasons you might choose to use laundry fragrance booster beads or laundry booster crystals.
When Would Using Laundry Fragrance Booster Beads or Booster Crystals not make sense?
For when would using laundry fragrance booster beads of booster crystals not make sense, I’ve compared Purex Crystals vs Downy Unstopables and I’ve experimented over 24+ times doing such!
This particular topic is less about the booster type (crystal or bead) and more about why you would want to use them as they are not the most economical purchase you will make!
Let’s say that you are washing ice hockey clothing from your boys to get the smell out of the clothing.
If they are going to put the clothing right back on and wear it to practice, you might want to use vinegar, fabric softener, and detergent, and call it a day!
It would be impractical to use a booster on those since they are not being stored, but rather being used immediately.
Why Use The Fragrant Boosters For Laundry
Conversely, if you are at the end of a sports season, hockey, football, baseball, etc., and the team shirts won’t be needed, using a laundry fragrance would be a good idea.
Once you wash the clothing and the laundry booster beads or crystals work their magic, you can store them, and not worry about that funky sports smell taking over the drawer or closet they are stored in!
Kids’ pajamas or jackets that are fire retardent can not be washed with fabric softener. But you can use fragrance boosters (beads or crystals) you do not have to worry about that. Rather you will have good-smelling items and they will still be fire retardent.
I am just explaining how I decide when to use the booster crystals and beads and when not to!
Can I Use Booster Crystals And Booster Beads in The Dryer?
The answer is a straight-up no. Don’t use fragrance boosters of any sort or any brand in your dryer!
Those beads if you have ever touched them have a wax-life feeling, a sheen to them, and that will go into your dryer, and what a mess (I can not confirm nor deny that one of my kids might have done this to my dryer)!
Allow me to share this as well: if you melt these bad boys in your dryer, cleaning is no easy task and the laundry that they got dumped on, needs to be rewashed and some may actually be ruined (Again I can’t confirm or deny that this might have happened in Casa Vento!)
The crystals when placed in the dryer will leave an oil stain on your clothing, the same that has happened in my wash as well! (Learn more on that below)
Your dryer is meant for dryer sheets, dryer balls, and the like, not booster crystals and booster beads!
How Does A Laundry Scent Booster Work Exactly To Make Laundry Smell So Fragrant?
I am not a chemist, a biologist, or a science person, so my best guess is that the cold or the hot water that you use in your washer simply dissolves the laundry fragrance booster of choice and since the clothing is in the water it is exposed to this.
Your clothing material opens when it is wet, and therefore, is accepting of fragrance just like when you add detergent.
Sounds good to me and that is enough of a science lesson don’t you agree?
Hot Or Cold? Crystals Or Beads
So this is where I believe you separate the boys from the men or the beads from the crystals.
In my personal experience in my HE, front load washer, I have issues with beads (Ustopables) on loads of cold.
The fact is they don’t always dissolve and sometimes they stick to clothing and then end up in the dryer and that takes on a whole life of its own.
That is not to say that I haven’t used them in cold, but they do not always 100% dissolve. I’ve even found them smashed into the clothing from the spinning at the end.
But the websites state that the beads can be used in cold or hot water and will dissolve, but using them as much as I do, I firmly dissent.
Laundry Fragrance Crystals Have Their Own Issues Too
Let’s be honest, the more you use a product, the more you learn about it and begin to understand its good and bad points.
Crystals (Purex) actually can leave oily spots on clothing and I’ll share my brief story with you!
However, I have to tell you that the crystals have left stains or spots like oily stuff on my clothes from time to time and trust me there is no getting in out. (read the reviews there are more people saying the same thing here)
In fact, I had a favorite tee shirt and it went right on the boob area, and it looked like I was nursing and leaked so crystals are not always a slam dunk either.
If you want good-smelling clothes, that stay that way for days after the laundry is done, both are kinds of the Lightening in a bottle you have been looking for: Downy Unstopables and Purex Crystals.
Downy Unstopables have become unreasonably overpriced for what they are.
However, Purex Crystals are also quite expensive anymore.
I am up and down with Purex Crystals as one person in our house has seemingly become allergic and breaks into rashes or hives when I use Crystals.
It has to be because of the fragrance residue that is on the crystals. I don’t wash the clothing for this person with the Purex Crystals EVER because of hundreds of dollars and doctors’ visits we figured out it was contact dermatitis from the residue.
The Downy Unstopables don’t always dissolve but they do smell good.
I believe it takes fewer Unstopables to get a nice scent than it does the Crystals but again this is my opinion.
After a lot of reasoning and figuring out why we need the boosters and why we don’t I now pick and choose when to use them as they are not needed for every load.
I’ve found that the warehouse clubs are the best bang for your buck when buying Downy Unstopables.
I’ve never had oily stains left on my clothing from the Unstopables, just beads that didn’t all dissolve, but I prefer that over oil stains.
For those that don’t have allergic reactions to scents and residues, you’ll probably prefer the many scent offerings of the Purex Crystals, but more is not always better, it is just more!
So 2 strikes against Purex: oil residue and fragrance residue really have changed my mind over the years as to which brand wins in the Purex Crystals vs Downy Unstopables challenge in my home.
While Downy Unstopables smell great, they are just laundry scent boosters, they are not fabric softeners, but it does take much less of this product to capture a fabulous smell than it does of its competition Purex Crystals.
Overall I think Downy Unspotables have won me over, but I am still not completely sold we need these boosters as there are other ways to freshen clothing, again IMO!
There is no clear winner between fragrance boosters for laundry
There is no real winner here: booster crystals or booster beads.
You have to choose which works for you, fits your budget, and smells best to your nose.
Before I Sign Off: A Few Tips To Use the Booster Beads or Booster Crystals
My boys play hockey and anyone with any kind of sports clothing knows these clothes smell bad and there seems to be no cure.
Use a small organza sachet bag**, place crystals or beads in the bag, tie it off. Do this again for the other skate, athletic shoe, athletic bag, etc.
The scent should work for about 5 weeks and not much beyond that!
Fresh Air When You Vaccum
For those of you that have a vacuum canister drop a few in there so it can recirculate a fresh smell as you vacuum.
You might be surprised at how good the room smells when you exit!
*Do not leave canister for Purex Crystals, Downy Unstopables or any other product of the like open and near children or pets.
**If you make sachets filled with the products they are NOT childproof and these are toxic
This is my own personal comparison, done at my home, your trials may differ.